There are any numbers of ironies at play within your Federal government.

Some have to do with the nature of governance itself, some concerning the work your government requires of its employees. 1

One of the more obvious ironies is that your Federal government is unable to differentiate sarcasm from…well, almost anything else. And they’re finally admitting it.

Comes now the Secret Service to spell it out for us:

The software tool must possess the following capabilities/functionality:

• Real-time stream analysis;
• Customizable, keyword search features;
• Sentiment analysis;
• Trend analysis;
• Audience segmentation;
• Geographic segmentation;
Qualitative, data visualization representations (heat maps, charts, graphs, etc.);
• Multiple user access;
• Functionality to have read-only users;
• Access to historical twitter data;
• Influencer identification;
• Standard web browser access with login credentials;
• User level permissions;
Compatibility with Internet Explorer 8;
• Section 508 compliant;
Ability to detect sarcasm and false positives…

That’s correct; the Secret Service is soliciting for a software package that – among other things – must be able to detect sarcasm in Tweets. 2

In addition to that choice morsel is the part where the Secret Service states the software must be compatible with Internet Explorer 8 (itself an irony -ripping piece of sarcasm if there ever was one) as well as geo-locate users based on tweets (ever hear of Tor, Secret service? Thought not…) while displaying results in “user friendly” colored charts.

We swear we’re pretty sure we read in the RFP where the software must also hold the Secret Service’s hand.

Here to comment on the news, and on sarcasm in general, A Very Special Guest:

Rêves doux

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Dwarf killing, for example: always listed in one’s PD as “Other Duties As Assigned.”
  2. The entirety of the solicitation package is here should you have software that suits. Be quick though; the RFP closes tomorrow, Monday the 9th.

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